Cajun smothered chicken with brown gravy is one of the most delicious, most beloved south Louisiana dishes, y'all. Heavily seasoned boneless, skinless chicken thighs, submerged in cassava flour and browned on each side. Removed from the skillet to let the softened Cajun trinity bits soak up all of the flavor of the pan drippings. Finished off with chicken broth and a few dashes of hot sauce, this heart and soul-warming skillet chicken dinner is on your table in about one hour. Yep and yay...
Here's Another One of the Great South Louisiana Poultry Dishes, Y'all...
Like its cousins sticky chicken, fricassee and chicken stew, Cajun smothered chicken is one of the most cherished south Louisiana Sunday dinners. It fits right into the 'big 4' because it's similar to the others in terms of taste and texture. However, it boasts its very own flavor profile and unique cooking method that includes pan-frying the chicken until browned. Then, cooking it down with broth, trinity veggies and pan drippings to create a thick, rich brown gravy that's insanely good over rice or mashed potatoes.
My version of grain and gluten free Cajun smothered chicken uses boneless, skinless chicken thighs for several reasons. First, all you need to do is trim the excess fat off of them to get them ready. Second, they cook to falling apart-tender in only approximately 20 minutes. And third, they're just thick enough to give you a super meaty bite. But, just thin enough to cook right down into the gravy and become one with all of the other ingredients. Indeed.
These boneless, skinless thighs in this Cajun smothered chicken recipe also hold the seasoning well. So, there's no need to use an egg binder. The spices on the chicken help the cassava flour stick right to each piece. So, the result is evenly cooked thighs with a beautiful browning that makes each gravy-laden bite a welcomed juxtaposition of slightly crunchy, over-the-top creamy that really is in a class all by itself. Yep.
One of my very favorite childhood dishes, it's a cinch to make once you get the hang of it. Cajun smothered chicken is also a company's-coming-over favorite because kids usually love it just as much as adults. Yes, it's a crowd-pleaser. And you can do it up by serving two thighs for four people. Or, you can use it as one of your cheap gluten free meals ideas by stretching it to eight servings with a starchy side and a vegetable.
Either way you serve it, I'm pretty confident that this Cajun smothered chicken will become a hit in your house. I've never, ever met any meat eater who didn't absolutely love it. And, it's sooo good that it's one of the very few recipes that Mark and I will have on repeat in the very same week!
How to Make Cajun Smothered Chicken with Brown Gravy
Start the Cajun smothered chicken with brown gravy by gathering all of the ingredients:
Now, pour the seasonings over the boneless, skinless chicken thighs:
Then, stir by hand until well-combined:
Now, press each side of the thighs into the cassava flour:
Then, stack all of the flour-coated thighs up on a plate:
Get the butter or oil melting down in the skillet:
And, pan-fry in two batches:
Until the thighs are golden brown:
Now, remove the thighs to uncover all the beautiful pan drippings:
And, add more butter and oil and the Cajun trinity veggies to the pan:
Then, add the fresh minced garlic and cook for 1 additional minute:
Reduce the heat, and add the broth, hot sauce and salt, black pepper, and cayenne pepper to taste:
Finally, add the browned chicken thighs back into the skillet. And cook down until done...
And that's it y'all!!
My Cajun smothered chicken with brown gravy is one of those dishes that you just never, ever forget. The rich, thick gravy coats each piece of rice or mashed potatoes like they were made for one another. And the pan-fried chicken pieces, y'all. They're so tender, flavorful and juicy, with just a little bit of crunch that makes this dish different from all of the rest.
This dish also keeps well in the fridge for a few days. So, it's great to make on the weekends for easy gluten free meal prepping that pops into the microwave or oven for a quick, super fulfilling lunch or dinner meal.
Share this Cajun smothered chicken with those who are just as uniquely sophisticated as they are unashamedly unpretentious. Much food love, and see y'all on the yum side...
Cajun Smothered Chicken with Brown Gravy
- 8 boneless skinless chicken thighs, trimmed of excess fat
- 1 tablespoon garlic powder
- 1 tablespoon parsley flakes
- 1 tablespoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon dried paprika
- ¾ cup cassava flour
- butter or oil, as needed, see notes
- 1 small onion, chopped
- ½ green bell pepper, chopped
- ½ yellow bell pepper, chopped
- 2 celery stalks, trimmed and chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 cups gluten free chicken broth
- 2 teaspoons Crystal hot sauce
- salt, black pepper and cayenne pepper to taste
- Season the boneless, skinless chicken thighs with the garlic powder, onion powder, dried parsley flakes and paprika.
- Pour the cassava flour onto the top of a dinner plate.
- Place another dinner plate or flat bowl next to it.
- Submerge both sides of the seasoned thighs into the flour, shake off excess and transfer to the other plate.
- Repeat until all of the thighs are coated with the flour and stacked atop of the other plate or bowl. Set aside.
- Pour about 3 tablespoons of the butter or oil into a very well-greased 12-inch cast iron skillet set over medium heat. (See notes)
- Brown the flour-coated thighs on both sides in two batches of four thighs. Add more butter or oil, as needed to continue browning the thighs and ensure that the flour does not burn throughout the process. (See notes) Remove the browned thighs one by one, transferring to a paper towel-topped plate.
- Remove any overly browned flour bits from the bottom of the skillet, if necessary.
- Add more butter or oil to the pan along with the chopped Cajun trinity of onion, bell pepper and celery.
- Stir constantly until the pan drippings and butter or oil are incorporated completely into the chopped veggies.
- Cook for about 5 minutes, stirring often, until the veggies are soft and turning translucent.
- Add the minced garlic and cook for 1 additional minute.
- Reduce heat to medium-low.
- Stir the chicken broth, hot sauce and salt, black pepper and cayenne pepper into the skillet until well-combined.
- Add the browned thighs back into the pan, submerging each one with as much broth as possible.
- Cook for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally or until a digital thermometer inserted into the thickest part of each thigh reads 165 degrees F.